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Dirty
09-15-2010, 02:34 PM
Think I may have had a small panic attack on the way home from work yesterday while on the bike, it was really weird.

When I first got my bike the wife made me promise to avoid freeways at all costs. This has never been a problem as I am more of a casual rider and prefer the backroads even if it does add a little bit of time to my trips.

Now that I'm looking at joining this riding group with telecast I figured there will be circumstances where I will have no choice but to join the group on the highway, so yesterday I decided to jump on 275 after work and take that home instead of telegraph just to start getting used to it. Got on 275 at 8 mile road and started to head south.

I noticed right from the get go that I was quite uncomfortable, with a death grip on the handle bars and too nervous to even turn my head to check the lanes next to me. Road this way until about Ann Arbor Rd...that's when the panic attack started.

I was in the left lane, passing a semi. All of a sudden it was like tunnel vision set in. I can't even explain how it felt but I had the overwhelming urge to just let go of the handle bars. There was like this weird vibrating noise, light headedness, all out moment of panic.

I wanted to just pull off onto the left shoulder but knew if I tried I'd lose it. Rode out the initial attack which seemed to last about 5 minutes but was probably only 30 seconds tops. Got behind another vehicle traveling a little slower in the center lane and just followed them. Other than the same original uncomfortableness, the rest of the trip was uneventful.

I'm not really sure what caused the attack to happen. I ride telegraph to work 30 miles each way everyday, dealing with semis, turning traffic, stop lights, 3 lanes of traffic, cross streets, pedestrians, etc, etc. You would think that the highway would be easier. I never broke 70 on the highway but have done so many times on backroads, so I don't think it was a speed issue.

Anyone have any ideas? Do I just need more experience with the freeways? Or am I destined to stick to the side streets?

telecast
09-15-2010, 02:54 PM
Anyone have any ideas? Do I just need more experience with the freeways? Or am I destined to stick to the side streets?

Let's see, you aren't used to riding freeways on the bike, and you got on I-275 at 8 Mile Road during rush hour.

That'd certainly be stressful for someone not used to riding a freeway.

You just need more time riding them, but if you had that kind if reaction you may want to try US-23 on a Saturday or Sunday morning just to get the feel.

Riding with a group on the freeway is a lot different than riding by yourself on the freeway, especially when it's kind of new.


All of a sudden it was like tunnel vision set in. I can't even explain how it felt but I had the overwhelming urge to just let go of the handle bars. There was like this weird vibrating noise, light headedness, all out moment of panic.

And yeah, I'd say that was a panic attack. You wanted out of the situation, fast. Good thing you kept your brain in charge.

telecast
09-15-2010, 03:08 PM
After I posted that it reminded me of when I bought my Sportster last June. Other than a few test rides and once when I rode my BIL's Softail I hadn't been on a bike in years. I bought the Sporty in Redford and rode it home to Milan. I picked it up around 5:00 in the afternoon on a Wednesday.

I can't recall exactly where the guy lived, but it was around 7 Mile and Beech Daly. So, here I am at rush hour. Feeling pretty confident when I pulled out, I got on 7 Mile and thought Holy Crap! Where'd all this traffic come from?! I rode 7 mile to Newburgh, I think, then south to Warren, and west to Haggerty. White knuckles all the way. I got on Haggerty and took it south all the way to Huron River Drive just east of Belleville (Finally, some familiar territory!). Once I got south of 94 traffic thinned out a lot and I started to enjoy myself, weaving back and forth and getting the feel of the bike. But that first 1/2 hour...I really wanted out of there.

Thruxtonbill
09-15-2010, 03:14 PM
Wow. Can I ask how old you are? Tha way you describe it, sounds like vertigo. That sounds down right scary bro.

Dirty
09-15-2010, 03:29 PM
Let's see, you aren't used to riding freeways on the bike, and you got on I-275 at 8 Mile Road during rush hour.

That'd certainly be stressful for someone not used to riding a freeway.

LOL. Yeah, I thought of that but it seems the traffic can be much worse on Telegraph sometimes. Maybe the combination of speed and traffic...

fz1bill: I'm 43. Started riding again in 2005 after about a 15 year break, but have not spent any time on the freeways. Never thought I'd have an issue. It really freaked me out and I half thought I would have problems on Telegraph coming to work this morning but it was a non-issue.

telecast
09-15-2010, 03:39 PM
Maybe the combination of speed and traffic...




There's nothing like a Semi passing you at 75mph to get the blood flowing!

We completely missed the most important thing in this thread!

DID YOU TELL YOUR WIFE? :eek::wing:

Dirty
09-15-2010, 03:46 PM
DID YOU TELL YOUR WIFE? :eek::wing:

NOOOO! She will never know :D (especially about me almost hitting the eject button)

Fishman
09-15-2010, 04:10 PM
Hey man---I do that ride twice a day..it just takes a little getting used to..

Hey look on the bright side...If you crash you could be one of Lady Gaga's dresses..

Mudpuppy
09-15-2010, 04:23 PM
wow dude bikes are supposed to help you not have panic attacks.. it's quote polar opposite to have one while riding a bike.. should be relaxing.. i would recommend not really riding until you get to the root cause of this issue..

a few years back i went balls out into taking any and every supplement i could.. andro, chryslline, glutamine, creatine, co-q10, etc. etc. etc. I worked out like a maniac 5-6 days a week.. I was in prime shape.. But all those supplements (about $200-$300 a month) really fucked with my blood sugar and i started having panic attacks.. i was playing left field at a baseball game and someone hit one my way - the panic attack was so bad i actual ran the opposite way the ball was coming.. then another time i was swimming across a lake (i have been swimming since before i could walk so i can swim - i have swam a mile or more at one time so it's not an issue) and about 1/2 way across i had a panic attack and thought i was going to drown - i floated on my back trying to control my breathing and after a couple of minutes got it under control - the bitch part was i was swimming about 1/2 mile across the lake to an island so i had to swim back..

but once i stopped the supplements (at least in those quantities) the panic attacks went away..

telecast
09-15-2010, 04:35 PM
The root cause could be the bike/freeway/newbie combination itself. I used to get panic attacks during my previous job. I didn't even know what they were when they first started, just a feeling of not being able to breath, racing heart, tunnel vision like Dirt described. I even went to the doctor and had them do some tests because it felt like my throat was partially blocked. Once I recognized them for what they were it got easier and easier to control the weird feelings. I quit that place 12 years ago and haven't had one since then. Stress, plain and simple.

Mudpuppy
09-15-2010, 04:38 PM
stress is a killa for sure..

Thruxtonbill
09-15-2010, 04:56 PM
Hey look on the bright side...If you crash you could be one of Lady Gaga's dresses..
Not funny.

I agree with MP, get yourself checked out.
I also agree with Tele, It's prolly nothing but, stress does crazy shit to people.

At 43 you're not old but, after 40 your body does strange things.

Gas Man
09-15-2010, 09:55 PM
Honestly before you go making dr appts... i would just ride the freeway in a less busy time.

Where do you live? I would be more than happy to ride with you on the highway. Even if we don't ride side by side or real close it will help you deal with the faster pace.

zamochit
09-15-2010, 10:25 PM
Welcome to my world! I'm a walking panic attack ready to happen. I get them any time I am out of my comfort zone.

SportstersPaul
09-15-2010, 10:40 PM
Reminds me of my first run up an E-way after being out of biking for close to 20 years. Was following a "friend" who needed to get somewhere quick, we ran 80-85 and I had the deathgrip thing going on, as much due to riding a naked Sportster and fighting the wind and thinking how great a road pizza I would make going down at that speed. Buffeting from the trucks was nervewracking as well, but now and many miles later I don't give it a thought. Sometimes you just gotta have patience, don't rush it. Ride safe.

horrorbusiness
09-15-2010, 11:47 PM
Heavy traffic does not bother me, I find myself looking out for wheels and tires coming off a cage and having to dodge it.

RedneckMedic
09-15-2010, 11:59 PM
Heavy traffic does not bother me, I find myself looking out for wheels and tires coming off a cage and having to dodge it.

thats probably the thing that scares me the most. i think to my self well im just cruising along here at about 80 if that semi blows a tire i'm shit out of luck.

telecast
09-16-2010, 07:37 AM
Heavy traffic does not bother me, I find myself looking out for wheels and tires coming off a cage and having to dodge it.


thats probably the thing that scares me the most. i think to my self well im just cruising along here at about 80 if that semi blows a tire i'm shit out of luck.


Good work guys, give him something else to worry about! :p

Dirty
09-16-2010, 09:04 AM
Well, I'm glad I'm not the only person to have experienced somerthing like this. No plan on doctor appt yet, I'm fairly certain it was a panic attack or anxiety attack or something along those lines.

Had a couple milder ones earlier in the summer. The neighbors a couple houses down from us are pretty avid riders, both have their own bikes and do lots of road trips with their friends. The wife's cousin was in a bad accident on his way to work on the highway. No other vehicles involved and nobody knows what caused it. Was on life support for 3 days before they disconnected him.

It REALLY hit her hard. She has not been on a bike since and some lucky fella got a hell of a deal on her sporty that she basically gave away. But anyway, when she first told us about the accident she just totally broke down and starts yelling at me to sell my bike, telling me if I love my wife and kids I would just give it away and going on and on about how dangerous they are and it just not being worth it. For like the next week after that I had a really hard time on the bike, second guessing everything I did and not trusting my instincts. There were a couple of times that I found myself close to what happened the other day but never completely the same. I found myself being really pissed at her for saying that crap to me and felt like she caused more harm than anything.

I actually found myself thinking during my attack the other day that maybe this is what happened to her cousin (since there were no other vehicles involved).

Thanks for the offer, Gas Man, but I think I need to do this at my own pace. I plan on hitting the highway again this weekend. I live pretty close to I275 off of Will Carleton Rd and plan on just looping back and forth between Will Carleton and South Huron trying to increase my comfort levels and then extending it a couple of exits at a time.

Dirty
09-16-2010, 09:10 AM
Good work guys, give him something else to worry about! :p
LOL, yeah that's the LAST thing I need! :eek:

Mudpuppy
09-16-2010, 10:02 AM
dude the only thing in this entire planet you need to be worried about is midgets and carnes.. other than that it's all good..

http://img.chan4chan.com/img/2009-02-23/1235400130253.jpg

http://www.motifake.com/image/demotivational-poster/small/1006/at-the-carnival-of-motifake-faceplant-sickartist-chompers-cl-demotivational-poster-1275605467.jpg

horrorbusiness
09-16-2010, 01:43 PM
And guys on black and yellow bikes wearing blue !

Mudpuppy
09-16-2010, 02:30 PM
And guys on black and yellow bikes wearing blue !

qfmft

Gas Man
09-17-2010, 09:57 AM
Well Dirty... I've over near Allen & Gib. IF you need somin....

And she had no right to yell at you like that. BUt we all know why. And I bet that is half your problem.

Do you want us to start talking about bad CAR accidents? That's always my POV. For every bad bike accident I'll raise you 2 killer car accidents.

Mudpuppy
09-17-2010, 10:59 AM
Well Dirty... I've over near Allen & Gib. IF you need somin....

And she had no right to yell at you like that. BUt we all know why. And I bet that is half your problem.

Do you want us to start talking about bad CAR accidents? That's always my POV. For every bad bike accident I'll raise you 2 killer car accidents.

Yes and there are far more cars on the road then bikes there cupcake.. think about it.. just like flying is "safer" than driving.. it's all statistic manipulation..

Bob
09-17-2010, 11:14 AM
I get a little anxiety on the e-way mostly because of the cross winds. I'll do 80 on a back road and be fine but the cross winds because of the open landscape sometimes scares me on the e-way. Think of it this way though. On the e-way you don't have to worry about people pulling out of their driveway, intersections and people running lights.

Mudpuppy
09-17-2010, 01:07 PM
that and everyone (should be) is going the same direction..

Dirty
09-17-2010, 01:15 PM
And she had no right to yell at you like that. BUt we all know why. And I bet that is half your problem.

I want to ask her if she would have sold her car and started walking everywhere if he had been killed in a car accident, but decided just to bite my tongue.

Dirty
09-17-2010, 01:17 PM
I get a little anxiety on the e-way mostly because of the cross winds. I'll do 80 on a back road and be fine but the cross winds because of the open landscape sometimes scares me on the e-way. Think of it this way though. On the e-way you don't have to worry about people pulling out of their driveway, intersections and people running lights.
I did notice that there was a LOT of crosswind that day...definitely could have contributed to the problem

Gas Man
09-17-2010, 08:00 PM
Yes and there are far more cars on the road then bikes there cupcake.. think about it.. just like flying is "safer" than driving.. it's all statistic manipulation..

I know but I'm also stating the angle for his point.


I want to ask her if she would have sold her car and started walking everywhere if he had been killed in a car accident, but decided just to bite my tongue.

This is what I'm saying.


I get a little anxiety on the e-way mostly because of the cross winds. I'll do 80 on a back road and be fine but the cross winds because of the open landscape sometimes scares me on the e-way. Think of it this way though. On the e-way you don't have to worry about people pulling out of their driveway, intersections and people running lights.

An intersection is ANYWHERE another vechicle can come into your lane of travel. So every exit and on ramp is an intersection and poses the same types of danger levels as a cross road. One of the first things they teach you in defensive driving.

Bob
09-18-2010, 08:18 AM
I know but I'm also stating the angle for his point.



This is what I'm saying.



An intersection is ANYWHERE another vechicle can come into your lane of travel. So every exit and on ramp is an intersection and poses the same types of danger levels as a cross road. One of the first things they teach you in defensive driving.

Yeah but most on ramps you can see the traffic coming on them for a while. It's not like you come up to many blind ramps as you do hidden driveways and blind intersections.

Gas Man
09-18-2010, 12:07 PM
True but it's still a good mind set.